Summer is in the home stretch, and you’re thinking about planning a camping trip. But what camping foods are both vegan and low-maintenance? We’ve got your back! Our best vegan camping foods are simple, fast to prepare and can be made with one burner. Most importantly, they’re all nutritious powerhouses!
Read along for some easy tips on changing your camping staples- like pasta or boxed rice- into something nutritionally complete and flavorful. This is not gourmet cooking, and the ingredients are simple and cheap. These are meals we might consider too simple to make at home, but somehow, magically, everything tastes so much better when you’re camping.
Enjoy our best vegan camping foods- and happy camping!
Couscous and beans
Couscous is a North African food, made from rolling semolina flour into tiny balls. Couscous comes in many variations, with pearled couscous being the larger balls pictured here. It might look like a grain, but couscous is technically a pasta!
Couscous is an excellent source of protein, as well as fiber. The combination of beans and couscous is not only easy to make in one pot, it’s a nutritious dish to fuel you for your adventures. We enjoyed this pearled couscous, black beans and broccoli on the shore of Lake Diablo in North Cascades National Park.
Preparation was so simple: we simply toasted the couscous by heating it with olive oil in the bottom of our camping stove, threw in the broccoli, followed the boxed couscous recipe, added black beans, and called it a day. This cheap and delicious meal took less than five minutes to prepare! We like to carry packets of tapatillo and cholula in our campervan, and always have them handy for this dish.
Avocado pasta with chickpeas
Pasta is a camping favorite of many because of its effortless preparation. But while pasta and marinara sauce might be tasty, it’s just not nourishing. Why not spice it up and create a balanced, nutritious meal?
After we cooked our farfalle pasta, we added in one mashed avocado seasoned (optionally) with garlic and salt. We then threw in a can of protein-packed chickpeas and enjoyed the dish on Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park.
Beans and rice
Beans and rice are a staple around the world for good reason. A complete protein packed with iron, calcium and other nutrients, this dish seems to satisfy a primordial craving within all of us. When you’re sore, hungry and tired, the simplicity of beans and rice just does the trick. In our opinion, this is truly one of the simplest but best vegan foods for camping.
We like to spice this simple pleasure up with whatever we have available. Any extra veggies can steam with the rice, or if you have extra cookware, can be sauteed on their own. We love to save the luxury of avocado for when we’re camping, so we mash avocado into this simple dish for extra creamy goodness.
This tasty bowl of black beans, rice and avocado fueled our backpacking trip in Point Reyes National Seashore, California!
Vegan BBQ- Beyond Sausage or Impossible Burgers
Dependent on what sort of camping you’re up to, you may or may not have access to a cooler and a grill. If you do have both, there is nothing like a barbecue while camping!
Impossible Burgers and Beyond Sausages are our favorite vegan items to grill. Beyond Sausage is especially easy because there’s really no bun required. Packed with 16 grams of protein, these brats are tasty and satisfying.
While a bit more on the pricier side compared to most vegan foods, they tend to be in line with beef dogs and burgers as far as price goes. These are absolutely worth bringing along!
Mac n’ Cheese
Looking for some simple eats with zero preparation or planning? Mac n’ Cheese isn’t the most nutritious camping option, but we will let you in on a secret: our favorite boxed vegan mac, Goodles, is actually a nutritious powerhouse. Among the long list of ingredients you wouldn’t believe are sweet potato, kale, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, maitake mushrooms, nutritional yeast, cashews and more. And you wouldn’t know it by tasting it!
Goodles contains 12 grams of protein per box, so you’ll be well prepared for a day full of romping around outside. This is our favorite boxed vegan mac to take camping! It might feel like “cheating”, but who cares? Plant based mac n’ cheese is one of the tastiest vegan camping foods.
For bonus flavor, throw in some veggies or chopped Beyond sausage.
Chelsea Pinkham is a long-time animal advocate, rescuer, and humane education writer. Chelsea studied Communications & Journalism with a minor in Environmental Science at Sonoma State University. She has been vegan for thirteen years, since she discovered the treatment of animals on farms in middle school. Outside of Vegan Unlocked, she works for a nonprofit farmed animal sanctuary, authors humane education children’s books, and has personally rescued, fostered and transported over 1,000 animals. She enjoys camping, hiking, learning about animal behavior, and traveling the world on a low budget!